- The Pittsburgh Steelers were an average of +1900 to win Super Bowl 54 following Super Bowl 53.
- All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown’s official trade request this week hasn’t moved that number.
- In fact, the Steelers are currently around +1800. Are they a good bet to win next season?
If the drama filled 2018 season wasn’t already proof that Antonio Brown wanted out of Pittsburgh, this week he left nothing to the imagination, tweeting goodbye to Steeler Nation.
There’s no way the Steelers can expect Brown to suit up for them next season anymore: the receiver is nearly certain to be traded.
— AB (@AB84) February 12, 2019
Yet even though they’ll be losing nearly 1,300 receiving yards and 15 touchdowns from last season, the Steelers are still near the top of the Super Bowl odds board.
Super Bowl 54 Odds
|Team||2018 Record||Odds to win Super Bowl 54|
|New England Patriots||11-5||+650|
|Los Angeles Rams||13-3||+700|
|Kansas City Chiefs||12-4||+800|
|Los Angeles Chargers||12-4||+800|
|New Orleans Saints||13-3||+1000|
|Green Bay Packers||6-9-1||+1800|
*Odds taken 2/13.
Trading Brown would still eat up between 8 and 10% of the Steelers salary cap next season, so they’ll be looking for draft picks or cheaper assets should they deal him.
Would another first round pick really help Pittsburgh win next season as much as the Brown would?
Pittsburgh’s Draft History
It’s easy to see why the Steelers are so comfortable letting Brown walk: they have an insane track record of drafting wide receivers. Past mid-round picks turned into: JuJu Smith-Schuster, Martavis Bryant, Emmanuel Sanders, and Mike Wallace.
And Brown was a sixth rounder.
Low key Juju made AB expendable…. #YoungMansGame
— Gerald Alexander (@GAlexander21) February 12, 2019
Unfortunately for Pittsburgh, drafting any one who can stop opposing receivers hasn’t worked out as well. Their continued whiffs on corners is one of the reasons they’ll be paying 30-year-old Joe Haden $11 million next season.
That shoddy secondary cost them a few games last season, when they couldn’t make a stop against even the most hapless offenses.
The Same Ol’ Steelers
Here’s why you shouldn’t want to bet on Pittsburgh next year.
They can go out and get a new running back, receiver, tight end, offensive line, you name it. As long as Mike Tomlin and Big Ben are at the helm, this team will continue to follow certain tendencies.
They’ll kick ass in primetime one week and they’ll lose on the road to a garbage opponent the next. They’ll put up crazy offensive yardage, then have absolutely maddening turnovers to cost them the game.
Roethlisberger called that the the “flukiest interception” he ever threw, ignoring the fact that if Shelby Harris doesn’t grab that ball, Bradley Roby does.
That utter lack of awareness could almost describe how the public backs the Steelers. Oddsmakers can’t put Pittsburgh’s number too high, because every year people blindly bet them thinking losses like the Divisional Round to the Jaguars are a fluke.
They aren’t. They’re the norm.
This is a myth.
Steelers have lost first-round playoff games against Tebow's Broncos, Garrard's Jags, Flacco's Ravens and Bortles' Jags. Patriots had nothing to do with any of those embarrassing losses. https://t.co/GXDhxcsnuH
— Bob Hughey (@Bobzilla1001) February 11, 2019
This team didn’t even make the postseason last year and yet they have shorter odds than two teams that played in the Divisional Round. Speaking of that.
What’s the Play?
The Eagles are +2000. They also have a nice trade chip in Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles.
Sure there are concerns with Carson Wentz and his injury history, but not enough that one of the more talented rosters in football, loaded with championship experience, should be getting worse odds than their instate rival.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.